3.6 million COVID-19 vax doses now expired; 632,000 doses to expire soon — Concepcion
MANILA, Philippines — Some 3.6 million COVID-19 vaccine doses procured by the private sector expired on Wednesday, with 632,000 vaccine doses to similarly expire by Sunday, former Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion said.
Concepcion announced that about 1.6 million AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccine doses would expire in August. But in a Laging Handa briefing, he clarified that the number of expired COVID-19 vaccine doses — including those that will expire on Sunday — will now total 4.2 million, resulting in the loss of billions of pesos.
“Ngayon, binilang namin. A total of 4.2 million vaccines will expire from the private sector’s side. About 3.6 million Moderna, and AstraZeneca about 632,000. And this expires July 27 for all Moderna and on July 31, all AstraZeneca,” he said.
(We counted it again and now, a total of 4.2 million vaccines will expire from the end of the private sector. About 3.6 million vaccines from Moderna and some 632,000 for AstraZeneca. All Moderna vaccines expired today, July 27, and it will expire for all AstraZeneca vaccines on July 31.)
The Department of Health (DOH), which receives advice from the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC), on Tuesday green-lighted the nationwide rollout of second COVID-19 booster doses for adults aged 50 and above, and those aged 18 to 49 with comorbidities.
But Concepcion said this decision was made too late since it has already led to the loss of millions of vaccine doses.
“We should avoid a situation like this again,” he further noted. “Dahil sa delay ng approval ng HTAC, we will be greatly affected by about P5.1 billion or about $100 million, so sayang ang pera natin. Now, andiyan na iyan. Moving forward, we should really insist that the DOH really plan out itong mga challenging situation katulad nito.”
(We should avoid a situation like this again. Because of the delay in the approval from HTAC, we will be greatly affected, with the private sector losing about P5.1 billion or nearly $100 million. But it’s done now, so moving forward. We should insist that the DOH should plan things, especially during challenging situations such as this.)
Months before the expiry date of the private sector-purchased vaccine doses, Concepcion repeatedly urged the HTAC to expand the scope of those allowed to receive the second COVID-19 booster shot and to use the expiring COVID-19 vaccine doses still.
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